What’s in a Name? Using Terms From Definitions to Examine The Fundamental Foundation of Human Factors and Ergonomics Science.


Dempsey, P.G., Wogalter, M.S., & Hancock, P.A. (2000). What’s in a name? Using terms from definitions to examine the fundamental foundation of Human Factors and Ergonomics science. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomic Science, 1(1), 3-10.

A collection of words extracted from definitions of human factors/ergonomics (HF/E) were analysed to examine the foundational basis of the field. The collected terms provide a descriptive taxonomy supporting the belief the HF/E is a multi-disciplinary endeavour that involves the design and engineering of systems for human use. The importance of an inclusive definition with respect to communicating work to others is discussed, including the need for a simple name capable of capturing the essence of this dynamic and human-centred field.

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